tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 15, 2013 9:00pm-11:01pm EST
that happens every year. it happened previously. it will happen in the future. unless you're going to somehow sentence doctors to participate in plans. you can't force them. and shedding crocodile tears because there are some plans .hat are canceled in this individual insurance market, routinely 40%, 50%, 60% every year are turned over. i sat on the floor -- may i have 30 additional seconds? mr. waxman: yield additional 30 seconds. mr. blumenauer: i sat on the floor and heard my colleague from oregon, mr. walden, talk about a very attractive family from southern oregon that are somehow going to now face $12,000 deductibles. i want to do a deep dive with greg, find out what is going on with that family. because what we have found people have been using obamacare as an excuse for some things that are going to happen anyway, or people
misunderstand. let's do this together, let's explore these areas, let's give people information going forward. and let's make the system work better, not create a parallel system that will make it work worse. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan. mr. upton: mr. speaker, at this point i'd like to yield one minute to the gentleman from florida, mr. bilirakis, a member of the health subcommittee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for one minute. mr. bilirakis: thank you, mr. speaker, and thank you, mr. chairman, for sponsoring this great bill. in my state of florida 300,000 individuals have lost their health care plans due to obamacare, and hardworking americans like my constituent, mark, are being adversely affected by this law. mark currently has a plan that he likes. obamacare will take it away. his new equivalent plan on the exchange comes with a $12,000 deductible and $1,000 monthly premiums. he and his wife are about 60 years old and do not qualify
for subsidies. while they live they are healthy, very healthy, they are punished, mr. speaker, and i don't understand t they are punished by the president's health care law. that's why i'm proud to be an original co-sponsor of keep your health plan act. to move the -- remove the barriers preventing hardworking americans from keeping their health care plans under obamacare. we need to pass this bill so we can give the american people the peace of mind they deserve. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: mr. speaker, we continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, at this point i would yield one minute to the gentleman from nebraska, mr. terry, member of the energy and commerce committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from nebraska is recognized for one minute. mr. terry: mr. speaker, this is really about trust. and people like andrea from omaha feels like that trust has been violated.
it's been broken. she was told that she could keep her policy, but then she received her letter saying that you cannot keep your policy. now a working mom with two young children, her family's remium has risen from -- to -- $770 it from $450 per quarter. her responsibility for co-insurance is now 50%, up from what it was before at 15%. her out-of-pocket costs rose to over $2,000. and she's paying more for less now. this isn't a better policy as we have been told. it takes a big chunk of their family budget. unfortunately under obamacare she can't keep her plan, she gets more with less. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california continues to reserve. mr. waxman: we'll continue to
reserve our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentleman from kentucky, mr. guthrie. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky is recognized for one minute. mr. guthrie: i rise today in support of this legislation allowing individuals to keep their plans through 2014. yesterday my colleagues and i shared powerful stories of many of our constituents who have experienced cancellations and massive rate increases due to obamacare. in addition to these individuals i have many more stories of kentuckians seeing their plans canceled due to obamacare. most recently sylvia wrote to me her coverage was canceled and she so far has been unable to get insurance. h.r. 3350 will allow insurance companies to continue offering 2013 plans, which would benefit the millions of americans who have seen their current plans canceled. the american people were told repeatedly if they like their plan they could keep it. house republicans today are trying to honor that promise. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mr. waxman: we continue to
reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, at this point i'd like to yield one minute to the gentleman from tennessee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. upton: dr. row. the speaker pro tempore: gentleman from tennessee is recognized for one minute. mr. roe: i rise in support of the keep grur health care plan act. this bill is important for many people in my district, including jo ann. jo ann lives in limestone,town tfpblet because policy doesn't meet the minimum requirements set by obamacare, she's been forced to buy more expensive health care plan. her premiums will rise from about $95 a month to $200 a month. she felt $95 was affordable, $200 not. despite promises of more affordable health care this law is making insurance unattainable for many across my home state. blue cross and blue shield of tennessee is our state's largest insurer and it's announced it will be forced to send 66,000 cancellation notices to my fellow
tennesseans because of obamacare. the medicaid business plan called covered tennessee, another 60,000 loose their care. it's well past time for president obama to work with members of congress to provide relief to the families hurting because of this law. i urge my colleagues to support the keep your health care plan act and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. continues to reserve. the gentleman from michigan. mr. upton: how much time each side has. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan has seven minutes remaining. the gentleman from california 3 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. upton: at this point i yield one minute to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. meadows. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized for one minute. mr. meadows: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of h.r. 3350, the keep your health plan act. i'd like to thank chairman upton for bringing this bill forward. despite president obama's reassurances that if you like your health care plan you can keep it, 3.5 million plans have already been canceled because of obamacare. .
cynthia told me about her family recently. she and her husband and three boys have a premium that was $300, has now risen to $1,206, mr. speaker. now, the rhetoric from the democrats have said that the republicans are only interested in pushing for a repeal of the health care law rather than fixing it. but this is just not true. so far this congress, republicans have introduced 102 bills designed to fix the broken areas of obamacare. the democrats by contrast a mere 17. republicans are bringing another fix today, mr. speaker, to the house floor. the keep your health care plan allows families across the country like cynthia's to keep their policies without a penalty. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: continue to reserve our time. the speaker pro tempore: continues to reserve. the gentleman from michigan. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i'll yield two minutes to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr.
kelly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for two minutes. mr. kelly: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of 3350 and thank the gentleman. this is a piece of legislation that protects the people, not a political party, not politicians, not presidents who don't keep promises. this is a letter i got from melissa in pennsylvania. she's a college student paying for her own education. she's working part-time at minimum wage at local grocery store, paying what she calls an 70 per month for her health care coverage. because of the affordable care act, her hours at the store have already been cut back and now to add insult to injury, she's been notified by the insurance provider that because of obamacare, she will be canceled after another year and that she's going to be forced to choose a plan that costs triple what she's paying now. now, her mom also sent a letter to our office, a letter desperation stating that her insurance provider, the one she's always relied on, has now informed her that she will no
longer be covered after november 25. in her letter to our office, melissa write when my daughter or i purchase our own health care in an attempt to be self-sufficient in this country, we're penalized. we're not rewarded. mr. president, just keep your promise. i can't believe for three years we've told people you can keep these policies, you don't have to worry about it, period. you like your doctor, you can your doctor, period. and now we find out that it was all just talk. and that's what this country's fed up with. they're tired of the talk that comes out of washington, they want to have people start representing them, that's what we're here to do. both sides of the aisle, ladies and gentlemen, both sides of the aisle. it's time to stop the spin. i really feel sorry for the people that sit in the gallery here who need to put seatbelts in, this room spins so fast sometimes it's hard for them to walk straight had they walk out of here. but i'll tell you what, our party will continue to commit ourselves to doing what's right for the american people.
with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania yields back. members are reminded to direct their remarks to the chair. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: we continue to reserve our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan. mr. upton: parliamentary inquiry. may i ask the gentleman from california how many speakers you have left? mr. waxman: we have two speakers. mr. upton: two speakers. we just have two speakers as well. myself and mrs. ellmers. mr. speaker, i'll yield two minutes to the gentlelady from north carolina. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from north carolina is recognized for two minutes. mrs. ellmers: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to -- in support of h.r. 3350, to keep your health care plan act of 2013. you know, as my colleagues across the aisle have pointed out, over and over and over again, the a.c.a. is law. but it cannot simply be undone by the white house and it does call on us in the congress to do so. you know, mr. speaker, we women in this country make 80% of the
health care decisions and women in this country have now been told by the president and our democrat colleagues that the health care choices that they've made to cover their families are not adequate. in fact, they're being called subpar. and they're trying to intervene. they're trying to keep the women in this country from providing that good, sound health care coverage for their families. that is why we are voting on this bill today, mr. speaker. we're voting on it because these are good decisions that have been made by the american people, they're good decisions that have been made by the moms across this country for their families. and we need to do everything we can to protect that. so i call on my colleagues to vote yes on h.r. 3350, so that women in this country can continue to do the good job they're doing for their families and provide good health care coverage. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time.
the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. waxman: mr. speaker, i yield a minute to the democratic leader, the gentlelady from california, ms. pelosi. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for one minute. ms. pelosi: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding. and i commend him for his great leadership, in helping to pass the affordable care act. honoring the vows of our founders for liberty, the freedom to pursue their happiness. life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. healthier life, freedom to pursue that happiness. you know, it's a funny thing when people talk about washington, d.c., and how people don't get along well. we disagree. we have major disagreements on policy. and one of them is whether health care is a right for all in our country or a privilege for the few. and -- but it doesn't take away from the fact that we are people and we serve in this institution
and we have some areas of agreement one day and the collide scope changes the next day. to the point where people are always surprised when i say to them, i pray for the congress every day and on sundays especially, i pray for our colleagues, our republican colleagues, as well as our democratic colleagues, as well as the president of the united states, barack obama, or george w. bush, or whoever he may be, because the success of the president and the success of all of us is the success for the american people. if we can work together to find common ground for the public good. and when i pray for all of us, i pray -- i have wishes for us. i wish that -- i wish that my republican colleagues could see how successful the affordable care act is in california. i wish you could hear the stories of family after family after family being liberated, freed from the constraint, a job
loss because a family has a pre-existing condition, so now they can follow their passion, not be chained by a policy, follow their passion to be self-employed, to start a business or to change jobs. i wish you could hear all of these stories, i wish you would not close your mind to them, because this initiative has been transformative. and i would have hoped that whatever had been proposed would be to strengthen or improve it all have the humility to know that any bill, whatever our pride of involvement in it is, can be improved. so that is why it's particularly disappointing to come to the floor today to see a bill that says to the affordable care act and all of these people with all of their stories, we are going to unravel this. we are going to unravel all of the good things, whether it's pre-existing conditions, ending that discrimination, whether it's lifetime limits, whether it's annual limits, whether it's being a woman, whether it's for
seniors or four kids, 18 to 26 years old, or for little children, even now before the bill is fully enacted. i wish , and pray and that our colleagues could see the evidence and that the decisions would be evidence-based rather than politically motivated. i think it's really important what this congress does today. each member has to make his or her own decision. this body, is that our words weigh a ton and our votes are even weightier than that. i hope the message that comes out of this congress is, there's a discussion going on, but there's a values decision that has been made in favor of the american people. that if we have to thread a needle to get a result, let's do that. but let's not unravel the whole
sweater, because that would be -- not be a comfort to the american people. so, let's act to strengthen, not weaken, let's vote no on the upton bill. thank you, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, we have just the close. so, we'll reserve our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. waxman: mr. speaker, at this time i yield to the very distinguished member of the energy and commerce committee, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. doyle, the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. mr. doyle: thank you, mr. speaker. let's think about where america was prior to the enactment of the affordable care act. 30 million, 40 million of our citizens without insurance. people with pre-existing conditions either couldn't get insurance or had to pay so much they couldn't afford their insurance. women being charged twice as much as men.
people that had insurance had annual and lifetime caps. did you ever wonder when you see families holding fundraisers to raise money for their kids' drugs so that a kid has a cancer and they're trying to raise money. these were people who had insurance and come up against annual caps or lifetime caps and the insurance company didn't pay anymore. half the families in america filing bankruptcy. people with insurance up against caps, no more payments, families losing everything. we put an end to that with the affordable care act. and how did we do that? we come up with a private system that required everybody to participate. young and old, rich and poor, healthy and sick. because when you put everybody in that risk pool, healthy people help us enable -- help us, enable the insurance industry to keep rates at an affordable way for people who
have pre-existing conditions and chronic diseases. that's how the system works. what my colleague, mr. upton, is proposing today unravels that system. make no mistake about it, if we continue to allow private insurance companies to sell policies that discriminate against women, that set annual caps and lifetime caps, if we continue to allow all of those practices that every american, 80%, 90% of americans said they want in their health care system, then that risk pool goes away. then rates go sky-high and you will have raised premiums for every american in this country. now, i would say to my colleagues, we want to fix -- there are unfor foreseen circumstances we knew whoo -- there are unforeseen circumstances we knew whoo women up in this bill. i told micah cuss, if the president doesn't come -- i told my caucus, if our president doesn't come up with a fix, if our leadership doesn't have an
alternative to this, maybe many of us would consider voting for the upton bill. but the good news is the president has responded, we will have a motion to recommit today that responds and i want to make it clear, there's nothing in the upton bill that mandates insurance companies to do this. this is a shell bill. in the end, just let me say, my friends should have some credibility. you introduced 102 bills, you never put one of them on the floor for a vote. so don't pretend that you care about the american people's health care here, you're just trying to repeal the affordable care act. democrats are not going to let you do that. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman's time has expired. members are reminded to address their remarks to the chair and not to other members of the body. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: may i inquire how much time we have remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan has 2 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. upton: i yield myself the balance of the time. i just say to my friend from pennsylvania, we would have liked to have had some amendments when the affordable care act passed and the rule denied us any amendments.
so why are we here? why are we here this afternoon? you know, most observers of the legislative process would say that the president's health care act would never have passed back in 2010 without the assurance that the president gave, even many times this year, that you could keep your health care if you liked it. if you liked it you didn't have to do anything, period. i don't think it would have passed in this chamber or in the senate without that promise that the president gave. then millions of americans in the last couple of months have gotten mail and in that mail it's cancellation notices. and they're seeing their rates go up 200%, 300%, even 400%. deductibles going up in the thousands of dollars. and people coming to us all last week when we were home for our veterans events and parades and all the things that we did,
bringing those letters to us and saying, hey, what's going on? i thought i could keep this. and you know, until yesterday, yesterday afternoon, when it looked like we were going to get as many as 300 votes, including perhaps mr. doyle's and others, when it looked like we were going to get 300 votes for a bill that we introduced only a week and a half ago, all of a sudden the president felt that he needed to act. it wasn't until this bill that he came to the mike and said, you know what? i made a mistake, i'm sorry, maybe this thing will fix it. but until then he was going to sit on his handles and just watch us, watch millions of americans literally -- literally watch their health care, watch maybe their economic lives just go over the cliff. he was prepared to do that until we showed that we had some bipartisan zip around here to
ry and in fact enforce, make whole his promise that he has said over and over and over again. that's what this bill does. read it. it's not too long. a couple of sentences long. . i demepped our leadership for bringing this bill to the floor. man, five or six days from when it was introduced, that's pretty good. more importantly it got a wake-up call from someone down the street on pennsylvania avenue saying something's wrong. let's restore what we might have said. i yield back my time and urge my jay harneyy -- talked about implementing the health care law.
>> the president said in his prepared remarks yesterday that he wants to work with lawmakers of both parties who are engaged in good faith efforts to make improvements to the affordable care act. >> and on this particular issue? >> that includes this particular issue. bill not support the upton because whatever the intentions, i think the intentions toward the affordable care act have been clear, but whatever the intentions of that hill, while maybe fixing the problem potentially of those who received cancellation letters, by allowing insurers to sell new policies to new customers who do not meet the standards is deliberately or not and, designed to undermine the affordable care act in the long run. insurers, they would have serious problems with
something like that. it would undercut the marketplace. it would create a situation that would be hard to sustain. --former budget corrector director jeffrey science -- zients. here are some of that conference call. >> good afternoon. thank you for joining today's operational date on the health insurance marketplace. this call is on the record. we will allow for questions after the remarks, but we ask that you limit yourselves to one questions we can get to as many of you as possible. i will turn the call over to judy, the direct or of the office of communications. >> thank you for joining us this afternoon. it is friday. i have with us on this call this
zientson just -- jeff who is helping us with this project. i would like to ask him to provide an update on our rugrats and we would be happy to take your questions. progressupdate on our and do we happy to take your questions. >> we have metrics we are using to track the sites performance. overall, we have made measurable progress for the changes and improvements we have made. it is having a positive impact. marketplace system was stable all week with no scheduled or unscheduled outages. we do have maintenance windows each evening, but no unscheduled outages this week. for most users, speed and response times were generally good. error rates were low.
response time in error rates -- as we have explained before, response time is how fast the system responds to users requests. for the first three weeks after the site launched, we estimate that users were waiting an average of eight seconds for stages of the site to load. this past week, the average response time for most users have remained under one second. our other critical metric is the sights there are rate -- error rate. a system timeout or failure to prevent users from advancing to the next stage or resulting in messages.iving error last friday's call, i reported we have reduced the rate to 2% down from 6% a few weeks earlier.
by continuing to eliminate switches and execute software bug fixes, we have driven the error rate down to under 1%. about the these key metrics, response time and error rates, we have made measurable progress. we have a lot of work ahead of us. in the last week, volume on the site increase significantly. and the number of users user levels of activity whether the reviewing pages or ,ompleting pages of the process of volume,periods some users experienced slower response times. on the one hand come increase volumes are a good sign, as they indicate improvements we have made are allowing more consumers to move through the site. but we clearly need the system to perform reliably with fast response times.
this is a key focus of our work now. we are addressing this with additional hardware and infrastructure upgrades which the team will begin executing this weekend. we will bring additional servers online, as well as additional database capacity and data storage. with these upgrades, we will significantly increase the system's capacity and this will allow us to maintain good speed and response times at higher volumes. front, we have crossed more than 16 improvements above axis off our punch list, including adding visual cues to plan screens -- to help consumers make the best decision. consumers can move back and .orth in the website
we fixed a glitch that was preventing some consumers in pennsylvania from moving through the shopping experience. crossed, we now have more than 200 bug fixes all of our punch list. as i said, there are still a lot of work to be done and we continue to improve the system in user experience. as we move forward, we will find additional glitches and experience intermittent periods of sub optimal performance. but we are making measurable progress. our bottom line continues to be that the end of november, expect the site to be working smoothly for the vast majority of users. as the president said yesterday, not all consumers going on the website will have a seamless experience. we will continue to improve the
site beyond the end of the month. most people who use the site will have it operate the way it is supposed to. it is important to note that even with a well functioning website, there are going to be people who need additional help, whether it is due to some complexity in a particular situation or need or simply because buying insurance is a decision and he preferred to get assistance and thinking it through. makinge are focused on the site work smoothly for the vast majority of users, the team is also working to make sure we are doing everything we can to get a bow more assistance in the application process. commerce --bers of congress will gavel back in on monday. the house will consider a number of suspension bills. boats are postponed until 6:30 are eastern -- votes
postponed until 6:30 p.m. eastern. at 2e senate, they return p.m. eastern to complete work on a bill for that fda oversight on pharmacy. the senate will begin a series of procedural votes on several bills. votes towere hold complete action on the drug compounding bill and to begin for an authorization bill program. watch live coverage of the u.s. house on c-span on the senate live on c-span 2. next "washington journal" we discuss national jehrity threats and johnson.
then a look at the new health and human services rule that health insurers must treat health issues in the same manner as physical illness. we are joined by ronald honberg. aid to thelked about philippines and what role the u.s. should lay during international crises. our guest is sharon waxman with international rescue committee. "washington journal" is allies at 7 a.m. eastern on c-span. at 7 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> this weekend on c-span, wrote to the white house 2016. governor o'malley in manchester for the new hampshire democratic party jefferson jackson dinner, followed by congressmen paul ryan with a birthday fundraiser. governor o'malley is live starting at 7 p.m. eastern. on c-span 2 book to be coming here from five finalists for the
national book award for nonfiction sunday at 1 p.m. span 3 american history tv, go back in time to 1996 to the internet archive's machine. sunday at 7 p.m. now national republican congressional committee chairman representative greg walden. he spoke today at the christian science monitor breakfast in washington, d.c. for about an hour. >> here we go. thank you for coming. we have representative greg walden. his last visit with our group was in may 2012. we welcome him back. he was born in oregon where his
family came to the state by wagon train in 1845. he grew up on an 80 acre cherry orchard and graduated from the university of oregon. early on he was a disc jockey he and a talkshow host and worked as a press secretary and chief of staff for a member -- as -- remember of congress. he was elected to congress himself. in 2010, speaker been asked them boehner asked him to be chairman of the republican leadership. he was elected as a chair. he also works on the telecommunications subcommittee. as always, we are on the record. please note live blogging or tweeting while breakfast is underway. our friends at c-span have agreed to give reporters time to
file. if you would like to ask a question, please send me a subtle, nonthreatening signal and i will do my best to calling you. we will move to questions around the table. thank you for coming. [laughter] >> good morning, everyone. i'm delighted to join you. i appreciate that warm welcome and introduction. i would also let you know that my wife and i were in the broadcasting business. they generally worked at have a degree in journalism. it is good to be with you all. let me start with my role as nrcc chairman and talk about 2014. i want to start by recapping what i said when asked about
what i saw 2014 look like a year ago. i believed then as i believe now that 2014 would be about the president's health care law, obamacare. i believe it now more than ever. now it has become a category 5 political hurricane that is not just causing havoc in certain regions of the country, but ripping apart every region of the country in tiny hamlets and towns and major cities where people are finding confusion, chaos, cancellation, cost increases, all of which were predictable as if no one was reporting the storm was coming and the administration and the democrats in the house were in denial.
they misled. they did nothing to prevent what is now unfolding. and so, i think 2014 is going to be a referendum on the failures of this administration and its notion and philosophy that big government has the answers, the government can do things better, and americans now fully appreciate and understand that is not the best approach. further, they want a check and balance on the obama administration and its big government ideas. they did not have a check and balance when the health care law was passed with the only democrat votes. speaker pelosi shut out every single amendment in the house that was attempted to be offered in the rules committee on that fateful day.
the president has apologized to the american people in different ways. i think it is time for the democrats who voted for this law and for the speaker of the house to apologize as well that the american people feel misled. a bond of trust has been broken. with the president and the democratic leadership in the house. when you lose that trust, it is a difficult thing to get back. no one wants to see what is happening out there. i did 8 days straight on the road in my district last week. 36 meetings. no matter what the reported agenda for a meeting was, it always got to obamacare and the cancellations. very personal and specific examples of people who have not
only lost their coverage, but also we are now finding out their preferred specialists are no longer in their network and that their deductibles had gone from $1000 or $2000 to $15,000 for a family. some had cancellations of the personal policies that are now being replaced with force participation in medicaid, something they did not want. there are a lot of other issues involving the economy. i will touch on one and i will be happy to open it up to your questions. the other thing that came about as a subtext of a discussion of the failures of the rollout in the health care law broken promises is an insidious thing showing it is affecting real people in their everyday lives. it is nothing employers are holding news conferences to announce, but i tell you it is
going on in every town. it is employers who cannot afford the costs of the mandated health insurance. they are reducing the hours of people who work for them to under 30 hours are getting their total workforce under $50 in anticipation that the penalties will apply in a year and they will get ahead of it. that is a really tragic thing for people who are trying to hold a job and seeing their jobs held back. hours have been cut from $40 -- 40 hours to under 30 hours. she can no longer live by herself as a result. she still does not have health care. she was moving back in with her three-year-old into her father's home. that is why they wrote me to seek help. it is a real and serious
problem. in terms of the political landscape, all of this is boiling at the surface. it is a big problem. again, thank you for hosting this. with that, i would be happy to take any questions you might have. >> i'm about to quote an expert at the back table there. on their website, they summed up the situation this week as "not many targetable feats." for the democrats, you picked a good time to be a chair. for the democrats to take back the house, they would have to take all of the tossups in the republican districts. it looks like a good time for the republicans. what is your sense of whether the health care kerfuffle causes
a wave or do you still see a swing either way? >> i think we clearly have the ability to gain seats in 2014. if you look at the lay of the land and read independent -- that put an enormous amount of time into this, i believe there is an ability to gain seats. >> a handful? >> i will not get into specific numbers. i believe we can get a net increase. we put a real emphasis on recruiting women candidates. we have reconfigured our data and analytics department creating the biggest digital department in the republican
politics early on. we'll have the grassroots, the data, the digital components necessary to do more highly targeted voter identification and turnout. with our recruit's and the issues set and history on our site, we can gain seats. history does not repeat itself automatically. you have to earn the seats. we know that. that is why we have been laser focused not only making sure our incumbents go through the patriot program, which has been a huge feet to our success, our numbers are doing great job. they are raising more than money. it is the mechanics behind it that use them the team and the strategy and the plan to win. >> one more for me and then we will go to caitlin. let me talk about risk to your rosy scenario.
in 2014, there will be at least 18 house republican primaries. early this week at the atlantic, karl rove talked about the republican coalition being in a state of flux. he says now they are starting to sort out. i think we're past the point of greatest warfare. how do you see the warfare affecting your job? >> i think the democrats have a number of primaries that are causing in-party warfare. nearly everyone of those faces are solid republican seats. nearly everyone -- you cannot say that about the democrats. look at the chalice to mike mcintyre. -- challenge to
mike mcintyre. a candidate has been picked that did not get into the runoff last time. they pick someone else. and former member of congress is a third candidate. it is a jungle primary. republicans are not the only party that has primaries. democrats, where they have them, i think that is a serious challenge in a primary. they will be weakened as a result. >> on health care, the republicans have to unite around alternatives? >> a, we have, and b, we can lay out how we would have a patient- centered health care system. the challenge we have is that we have a law on the books that the
president has made clear he has no intent of ever repealing. or even modifying. or multiple attempts to suspend it and appeal it has met with pretty unified resistance from most emigrants and certainly the majority leader of the senate. at some point, you say, we have tried to warn you. it is pointed out that individuals would lose their lands for cancellations. -- plans through cancellations. the ratio number was in their own documents. even then it did not get much attention. they have seen this coming for a long time. i think the key now is how it will play out.
they have waited too long. the storm has hit. >> you control the house and have controlled it for three years, but are ineffective. nothing is getting done. instead, you will be number 46. give me one example since january were the house of representatives has passed legislation were you can go out there and say we have been effective. >> let's back up. the reality of the city is we are in the minority. when it comes to passing legislation. when you get up and have the president of the united states and harry reid on the other side people don't like to hear that, but that is the reality of legislating.
we have passed legislation and we passed legislation and we pass the debt ceiling increase earlier in the year. we passed the fiscal cliff year with the tax policy and permanent statute. i can go back to legislation i worked on in a bipartisan bill that will be part of creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in the high-tech world. there's legislation that we are working through. we pass some appropriation bills. >> with all disrespect, there is -- with all due respect, there is a dissension within your own caucus. then carrier bill never even made it to the -- i just the effectiveness of the house -- address and effectiveness of the house. >> when the leader of the senate says he will not take up any bills that house sends overcome, is there not some responsibility
there? it takes two to dance. for four years, i know you do not like this, but for four years, the senate -- are three or four years, did not even vote on a budget. we did each year. they may not have liked our budget, but -- >> again, it is your caucus. go down the list. plan b. couldn't get support within your own caucus. you guys are ineffective. >> we look at this and say we passed a budget and e.g. we have been in the majority. we are going caucus that passed a budget that balances. -- we are the only caucus that passed a budget that balances. it took a shameful approach in the no budget, no pay provision on the debt ceiling increase to get the senate to even vote on a budget.
how can you even have a discussion with the other body when they do not vote on a budget? at least we are having a discussion. maybe we can get this back on track. i do not disagree with that. wait. i'm sorry. >> christina. >> talk about the dynamics of the immigration and that primaries. is there a sense that it will be easier to do after the deadline? >> we have a different approach in the house than the senate as you well know. the american people are very skeptical of big, huge, comprehensive bills. they're looking at real reform that is done a piece at a time, step-by-step, so you can have it be transparent and so the people can have a chance to understand each step of the way and how it
is sequenced. the speaker has said on more than one occasion that this is a federal problem. it needs to be dealt with but the federal government. i think you'll see it will come into a matter of timing in part because of everything else that has not been done yet with the whole government funding issue and all of that. my guess is that it comes later this year. >> isn't hard to do it for your members during an election season? >> people know their districts pretty well and what they can and cannot support going into it. i do not think it is that big of an issue. you have primaries all the way into august. >> ok. we will go to alex, cameron, david, and emily.
alex. >> all of the momentum with obamacare, without be squandered that be squandered if the government is shut down in january? >> to think about obamacare is that it continues on. it continues on. the government got funded and back up and running. on the ground in the countryside, shut down wasn't that well received by many. there were others that probably liked getting the overarching government to have a research and specifics shut down forever probably, but obamacare affects everyone. it continues to. it will continue to affect them. i think it will be the dominant issue.
>> if it comes to a second shut down, it could hurt the momentum if that happened twice within a few months of each other? >> it shouldn't. we should keep the government open and operating. >> cameron. >> what can you do to make sure the caucus does not get divided on this and focus? you yourself voted against the bipartisan [indiscernible] i'm curious if there are any internal pressures from the caucus on this. >> there are, obviously. people have strong opinions. some of our members had an equal-opposite reaction to a government that was spending like there was no tomorrow. these members are reflecting a view in the country that is
strongly passionately held that if we do not get control of deficit spending soon, all will be lost. these deficits are racking up at trillions. if somehow that is celebrated as a great reduction, and yet the long-term forecast are not good in the next generation pays the bill. we need to do more. we wish we had a partner on the other side of the capitol and at the white house that worked with us to get that done. >> in this situation, the kind of brinkmanship that is a
distraction from the problems of obamacare -- >> i think we will work through it. >> you said that the house on immigration prefer the piecemeal approach. judiciary sent five bills in the summer. the house never voted on those. how can you say that you want to handle it in a piecemeal approach if you will not consider the regular order during the bills and going to conference? >> as you know, different bills get work to a certain point in the process and then you have to get the right time and happens in both chambers. with everything else that happened this fall, he kind of alters the schedule. they are figuring out when next year make sense to have time to work this through in a thoughtful way. we need real reform.
i think you'll see it come forward. >> tom. i'm sorry. tom. >> mitch mcconnell pushback against the far right. he said -- he noted eight tea party candidate who he mocked was naïve. -- he noted a tea party candidate who he mocked was naïve. should we expect house republican leaders to push back against the far right? >> so, my job is to defeat democrats and elect republicans. republicans that are chosen by republicans in their districts
as the nominees. that is where we are focused. the extent that we can have our wide range of outside organizations focused on that, we will be more successful at growing our majority in the house. i words of encouragement always are the bill buckley line of nominate the most conservative person that can win in the general election. that is critical. focus our attention on beating democrats. they are continents apart philosophically from where we are. that is my view of it. >> as the caucus moves further and further to the right, making it more difficult for speaker boehner to lead it in any specific direction, is that part of the equation in electing republicans to the house?
>> when you're in the majority, you have the responsibility to govern. we are a center-right majority. we have to be able to govern. many people who come here and will fight as hard and tenaciously and thoughtfully as possible. at the end of the day, we still have the responsibility to govern. >> david. >> a few race specific question. democrats say they have a great a candidate. you have a great a candidate. second of all, we have six retirements on the republican side, including two sophomores on the which is unusual. there are fewer it in the credit -- there are
retirements and how so far. do anticipate more on your side saying this sucks, i am out of here? [laughter] >> could you use that phrase? >> no. [laughter] >> oh, david. florida '13, our hearts are still broken. what a great public service for many years. bill had a special relationship with his constituents in that district and that district had changed over the years. when he no longer was serving, that district would be a competitive district. it is the numbers. you do all of the analysis. having said that, we will be competitive in that district. the filing deadline has not closed yet. there are a lot of people who are rallied around one. again, our job is to pick the nominee.
i would rather be us than them. they have to win on red territory they have to pick up seats that romney carried. and i think they've got a big uphill climb to do it. but we've got to be on game. and on message. and have the right people in the right places. >> two questions. one about the questions you had about governing. in some ways you had the built in advantage where you'll keep the house for a while barring
something very unusual. how do you make sure that it doesn't work at cross purposes and be competitive in the national election. because as everyone talked about, your majority now is probably more conservative than what you need to be to win other elections. is that part of your responsibility? >> no, my responsibility is make sure there's not a checks and balances. we saw that with speaker pelosi, senator reid, and president obama with no one to raise questions about the irs or benghazi and whatever else. my focus is the house.
we represent individual districts, not whole states. while we have house members seek the presidency, it's rare they get there. we are a different entity. the way they speak can help with the republican party. we've had initiative partnership to grow and recruit more women to run. we are trying to mechanically build out. and then, you know, we stay on message of trying to create private sector jobs. have positive alternatives going forward. in these areas. this is about one side versus the other. the people have the choice. they have a clear choice in the cycle about big government-run takeovers and how that plays out
in their daily life. when the president kept talking about if you have your plan, you can keep it, someone said if you don't like your democratic house member, you don't have to keep him or her, period, that's how it will play out. >> you mentioned the john tierney race in boston. do you have any hope of winning any seats in new england beyond that or beyond that? are there any -- >> i think so, yeah. we're not -- we're not done recruiting in some of those seats. we have some interesting people who are looking at running very seriously and are working through their own issues, family issues. it's always important to have your family fully supportive when you venture down this path.
you can go up to new hampshire. he's running again. we need to be competitive in new england and can be competitive in new england. we can grow. remember, we came out with the biggest majority since world war ii. we held the second biggest since 2012, a point i have to make to our donor community who are still wondering if mitt romney won because he invested so heavily he must have. and then we go through the discussion about the senate and all of the things that happened there. by the time we get to what i have responsibility for the house, most people don't realize we held the second biggest majority. this since world war ii is the bigger majority than '94. they have to go to the chiropractor because their neck snaps around. what? so we figured out how do our job. we have a great team and we have
great candidates and i think we'll grow our majority. >>. [ question off mic ] we don't get involve in the primaries. but you recruit sometimes in districtings. people have a primary. you help the candidates out. so what do you consider in the primary? >> we don't spend money. we don't go in and drop money in on the races. sure, we're out there recruiting, you know? there's always that line. you have self-starters, you know, people you don't even know that are out there that just file one day driving past the secretary of state's office, it happens. but we are open to work with every one of those candidates. we have a program that reaches out the them. we will give those candidates the same siloed confidential
counsel that we would give to someone else that we recruit if they seek it. we want -- whoever becomes it no, ma'am knee. whoever's chosen by the district to be as capable and confident as possible so that they can win. but certainly as we go out around the country, we're trying to identify ourselves who's the best one to run and encourage them to run. i don't know if you're tracking stewart mills up against nolan in minnesota but he outraged nolan. it's mills fleet arms. it's a farm co-op sort of store chain and they'll run for office. but he oversees about 5,000 employees and their benefits. he knows obama care inside and out. i'm check him -- we just really got some good people that are out and running. look at martin mcsally back
running against barber. retooled in terms of the campaign and how to approach the race this time against mattison. look at evan jenkins, the democrat state senator for a long time. it's now out raising nick rahal in generation there is in west virginia. we have interesting dynamic folks that are up and running. >> congressman? i knew in one district the republican candidates will have trouble because there is no immigration bill. and the democratic candidate would be in a lot of trouble because of the obama care. that could be -- what is your take on that particular race especially given the fact that it pretty much is a moderate district. and where republicans outnumber in terms of party registration.
i think when voters are more motivated when something is taken away from them. i think voters are rightfully upset, maybe even angry at times, about the president's health care law. and i think that will be the overriding. and between now and the election, i think the house will take up immigration legislation and a piece-by-piece approach. that has due consideration, you know, that still -- those are decisions made by others in the leadership, not by me. but that being said, obama care will live on with the cost increases, the confusion, the chaos, and the cancellations. and i think that will be the dominant issue. that affects everybody. it affects everybody. and when people figure out that they can no longer see their
doctor, that will be the next less than truthful promise -- another broken promise. because you'll be able to -- what i hear from my constituents that have been cancelled, they get the new policy, some provider they trusted their health care with and had a relationship with is no longer in their network. it's true they'll be able to see them, they'll just have to pay full price because it will be out of the network. it will be a cap and the deductibles will be off of the chart. practically speaking, they always can, but they can't afford it. as those play out, this is a hurricane of mammoth proportion that's going to strike everywhere, including california 36. >> not that -- schrader, you had
defatz you. a lot of discontent. but there's a lot of discontent with immigration. congressman schrader to perhaps support today's bill in the house. what do you make of these moves? do they have legitimate reasons to be really concerned. >> this is sort of like the guy that robbed the bank. has a bag of money to go out the door and get caught. here, i'll give you back the money. sorry. it doesn't work that way with voters. and, you know, you have -- i watched this play out with my friend, kurt schrader, who was chals tizing the president for not being truthful only to have pointed out that he had some claim on his own website. there people are going to get caught red handed. they're co-conspirators in this.
you can't get way from that. you can't get way from the votes and the statements. there's a thing called the -- kind of document off of that. and then hold it accountable as you should. i think they're in real trouble. i saw when the senator went on the landrieu bill, that told me panic had arrived. >> we're going go to kiefer, and stephanie kay. francene? >> if you look at the latest developments in obama care strictly from a policy point of view, whether it's the president's executive order or the upton bill or what mary landrieu is working on -- >> mm-hmm. >> wouldn't allowing people who have these individual plans to keep their plans, wouldn't that mess up the overall concept in obama care because hopefully the people in the individual plans were more healthy and they remove them from the overall
population. it messes them up. just the idea of allowing a certain segment to keep its plan. wouldn't that have a negative effect overall on the affordable care act? >> well, while that may be true, i'm sure any change will have an effect. i think the bigger, broader effect is on the individual lives of people who are now getting plans they can no longer afford. by that, i mean you look at premium increases that are going up hundreds of dollars a month -- sometimes $1,000 a month. it's a wide range. some people will get subsidies and support and pay less. but there's this group in the middle who make just enough -- they get no subsidy, and the price of their premiums for their plans is going up dramatically. but moreover -- and this is just what after 36 meetings in my own district, their deductibles -- their deductibles, they fear,
are at a level where unless you have a catastrophic health event in your family, you really don't have health insurance because you're paying upwards of $12,000, $15,000 where it was $2,000 or $3,000. so they may go without. because you have a guarantee issue. you can always go to the emergency room, right? the penalties are not more than the premium. this is the chaos out there, on the ground, in communities all across america. >> has there been time to actually figure out as this legislation has been going on which is the worst case? these folks whose premiums are going up because -- or what happens to the whole system as a result of this group being out? >> well, i would argue on the side of the individual whose plans are being terminated and
they don't -- they either don't have access to a website to figure out what their alternative is or what their subsidy will be or what the costs are. that's the world we're in right now which is a more important world than the individual than the sort of global effect on a -- on obama care for the long haul. this -- you got a situation in my home state. we had a high risk pool for people who had pre-existing conditions. i was in the legislature back in the late '80s and early '90s, we worked on all of these things so people had a place to go to get covered. that high risk pool ends at the end of this year. they closed it down to replace it with cover oregon that signed up zero people. the governor's now hired 400 individuals or in the process of hiring that will manually go out and sign people up by paper but
they have to figure out how to run it through a computer system they now admit won't work by the end of the year. in real terms of real people's lives, this is happening in fast time. that's how i equate it -- the only thing i can come up with is a hurricane, cat-5 hurricane, all over the country. i did a town hall, a town of, i don't know, probably 80 people or 51 of them at the meeting on tuesday night a week ago. yeah, a couple of people saying hey, it's all working great. you republicans are this, that, the other thing. and the cancellations, that's not true, literally. and the fellow there said, well, here's my letter. i got cancelled. and the replacement policy is x more premium. this is -- people are sitting around kitchen tables saying now what do we do? that's who i think we need to worry about first. >> scott, you mentioned a few minutes ago your conversation of -- part of your job. the -- despite being in a
minority with democrats, a lot of it has been fueled by large numbers of small donations. what -- what are you doing on that front? are you too overreliant on large donors? and is it even possible for, you know, a republican party apparatus to activate given the levels of distrust? >> i -- i won't buy into the last piece of that at all. we stood up in the beginning of this year. the young people are brilliant, done amazing things, grown our presence on-line dramatically.
they can give you the metrics, but our facebook likes are off of the chart, grown our e-mail dramatically. we have a long way to go. i'd say we have a target of opportunity to grow our revenues. but we figured out how to do that now. we've been very thoughtful. creative at building out our presence on-line, becoming more of a content provider. and in our comparisons with our competitors, in terms of how people share the information we put out, it's doing all of the right thingings. so now we can begin to invest more deeply in that. and build that presence. we have a long way to catch up. truth. >> warren? >> our small donor base is coming. it's fired up. and finally remember, the
president -- for all of the things i may disagree with him on and the things he's not good at, he's darn good at raising money. he committed to my counterparts, steve israel, to do six events around the country for the dccc, that's one commitment he's keeping. he's been to boston, new york, san francisco, chicago. he'll be in seattle on the 24th. that's hard to compete with. because he's got the president and mrs. obama. the vice president. you know? the whole infrastructure's administration. one thing he wants more than anything else, and that is govern in his last two years like he was able to in the first two years without us being in check and balance. if we're out of the way, he'll never have an oversight hearing on the irs or benghazi or all of the issues that people are rightfully concerned about.
it will be bar the doors. they'll all get along. legislation will pass and flow. will we have a chance to read it? >> life without daryl issa would be hard to imagine, wouldn't it? >> what would you all do? >> what would we do? >> i want to ask specifically about the race between -- and mattison because he's certainly the most vulnerable democrat in the country. what about the campaign has been retooled and what about it needed to be retooled. >> not going to get into all of the specifics in a race, but i would say this -- that she is a very dynamic, impressive individual. a wonderful mother who served her community as mayor. i think the country saw her in the brief moment in that convention and they loved her. and she's been a successful
fundraiser. she's outraced him the last quarter 2-1, basically. so she's on a solid track on the fundraising side. she is much more engaged locally than perhaps she had time to be last time. i think with that and her team of being assisted by some of the top pros in utah. we've learned. we sit down and say what do you think worked, didn't work. and how do you fix that. this is what we think didn't work and worked. no one wants to go to a race and come up short. it's not that fun. we tried to identify strengths and weaknesses and done the whole analysis. and we say, how did you do it
differently and have the path to victory. >> stephanie and david. stephanie? >> good morning. >> we've seen in the presidential elections that the opposition -- [ question off-mic ] >> speak up a little? >> the opposition to obama care -- what are your members going to do to actually give a response or offer the kind of -- what can you do? because the flip side of the -- perhaps there's a lot of republicans talking about repeal and replace when everybody knew that was never going to happen. so is it just enough to be the alternative? and what about people who actually are seeing their premium go down? >> and there will be some of those. i think you have to factor that in. and i was in a meeting in the northeast part of my district on
saturday late afternoon. with a bunch of veteran ms. this woman talked about being put off of her regular plan and medicaid. the other piece of that where the funding comes from is out of medicare. so you have this element of seniors, especially in rural districts where medicare advantage played a major role in keeping your provider because of the reimbursement rate issues that are cognizant that that may be a problem. they took money out of medicare to put to medicaid. that's an issue. our members are very capable and confident in talking about alternatives that we would offer for a patient-centered health care delivery system. but it doesn't put much good to put that up on the floor in a comprehensive way when you know, let's been honest, that the senate is not going to take it up. the president is not going to go along with that. so when one party passes
something exclusively, denies the other party to even offer a single amendment on the house floor, which occurred, then they own it and embrace it. and they owned it and embraced it and overpromised and underdelivered and it is -- it is the -- it's the tsunami that washed up, there's a lot of debris on the ground. it will be the defining issue in 2014. and they got to explain it. when the other major programs in america were created, they almost always were created with bipartisan votes. major reforms and entitlement programs. they did it with tip o'neill in a bipartisan way. this one may be a conscious choice to lock us out. i remember seeing henry waxman in a conference and saying henry, i spent 4 1/2 years or so on the hospital board, i chaired the committee that implemented
the oregon health plan. i was part of the process on the higher risk pool. we did a lot of experimentation on health care. and i was an employer who paid 100% with my wife for the premiums of our workers. i knew every side of this health care table public policy, private sector, nonprofit, rural hospital. i'd like to help. i told ron that too. the song if the phone doesn't ring, it must be me. that's kind of how we were treated. okay, so here we are. now you own it. you keep overpromising. how are you going to fix it? and if oregon can't get their side up and running -- they admitted in august it wouldn't be ready and it was over budget. now they're admitting it won't work before the end of the year. typical funky ads promoting it, you can't use it. they're hiring people at $3
million from now to the end of the year and only going to the more urban areas to the state and not in the rural to talk about it. it's just a mess, a mess. >> last question, mr. wassermann? >> oh, not him? again? >> i'm curious. on paper, it aulgt -- ought to be a tossup. time to go to the recruiting board there? >> we're fully engaged and intend to win california 26. >> what's going on? >> well, all right. stay tuned. >> you know what california 36 is. >> stay tuned. >> can i ask you one sort of longer-term thing? >> i thought you said it was the last question. >> you know, reporters lie. karl rove this week was talking about the overarching trend confronting republicans. and i take your point that your
job is to elect republicans to the house. one of the things he said was the country is becoming less liked. an arise in the latino and african-american population. until the populations economically rise, you're going to have a more democratic electorate. do you worry, not in your specific calling but more generally about the fate of your party? >> sure. i think we have to always have a positive agenda. i think we have one. i think we need to be better at messaging that agenda. because we aren't always good at that. we can improve. and i think that agenda needs to
cut across demographics, age, everything else. it's an agenda about believing in the individual as opposed to big government. it's an agenda -- frankly, i try to promote in my sub committee on communications and technology about future innovations and what america can be because of what we are and the creative brilliance we have. and the need to harness that more and create more jobs that pay better. you know, we -- the democrats generally wanted to divide what's here. the whole president obama and his first campaign and joe the plumber exchange, share the wealth. we want to add the wealth. we want to grow this country. we want to grow jobs in the private sector that because the companies are successful, they can pay more and expand.
>> again i get back to the president's health care law is a depressant on economic growth in every community in my district. i'll take on my rnc hat and put my small business hat on. i hear from those people in a state like oregon very dependent on small businesses are saying, i can't afford the mandate. i've got to get under 50 employees. i have to reduce workers. it doesn't work because i want to grow my business. but if i do, i have this additional cost. i can't do that. i'm telling you nobody goes out and does a news conference to announce they've reduced the hours of their employees and they've gotten under 50 employees. yet, it's happening. we're not that party. we're the party that wants this tome have a vibrant private sector. regulated where necessary. so you have competition.
you're growing jobs. not shifting jobs overseas. that's your issue of immigration reform. high-tech and my part of the world, i grew up on a cherry orchard as david mentioned. we didn't have guest workers then, we wouldn't have cherries in the buckets and in the bocks. wouldn't happen. that's a skilled workforce. and anyone who writes they're not needs a refresher course and go out and work in agriculture. it is technical, skilled, and it is hard work. and we have unmet labor needs at all levels in america. we need to improve our education system. we need to deal with this complex set of issues. if we do, we will address what karl is spoken about eloquently, because we are the party that believes that our core -- americans will figure out how to make things work, and the private sector can solve problems faster. again, i get back to obama care.
can you imagine any website out there in the -- we all have their problems. but if you had to undertake this. can you imagine apple rolling out the next product and have this happen? do you think the ceo would be there very long? this is what happens when government says we know better. doesn't mean there didn't need to be reforms, there did. but to take on everything, i think, is a case for why big government in washington does not work and the future can be brighter and better in a different model. >> we look forward to have you back. thank you very much. >> delighted to do it. thank you all. >> next on c-span, a look at the
future with john kerry flowed by a panel discussion of former secretary of state, hillary clinton, and former first lady, laura bush. and later a panel with usaid administrator and the african ambassador to the united nations. on the next washington journal, we'll disz national security threats and jay johnson, the nominee for homeland security secretary. our guest is stephanie sanacrosto. we'll take a look at the health and human services rule and health insurers must treat mental health issues in the same manner as physical illness. we'll later talk about the aid to the philippines and what role the u.s. should play in international cry seals. our guest is sharon waxman with the international rescue
committee. washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> jaclyn kennedy's time as first lady was defined as never before by images -- a young family entering the white house, international fame, and the tragedy of a grieving widow all within ten years. 10:00 p.m. eastern and sunday at noon on c-span. live on monday, our series continues. >> mrs. johnson, the first lady loved to show off the texas hill country and her home. the guest to the ranch would informally gather here in the den. and as various heads of state came to visit, we have a few things that speak to they are connection to the room here. one of the things she wanted to highlight was the native american heritage here in the hill country. we do have a small collection of arrow heads over there. an eye for copper and collected various items through the years
and had gifts from various friends. mrs. johnson gave a tour of the house in 196. she purchased the china you can see here. purchased in mexico. mrs. johnson spent a lot of time at the ranch. it was important because it provided a respite from all of the turmoil of washington, particularly later in the presidency when the johnsons could come home and recharge the batteries and make the connection back to the land and the place they valued so much. >> first lady, lady bird johnson monday night live on c-span. >> next, john kerry speaks about the future and the rights of african-american women at an event. he's followed by a panel of former secretary of state, hillary clinton and former first lady, laura bush. secretary kerry's remarks are about 40 minute ms.
>> i want to once again thank the president and all of the university for your active leadership, not only on behalf of the study of analysis at issue to the importance of the world and your leadership in the civic life, not only of washington but of our country and indeed across the globe. this is an example of that. i welcome the members of the diplomatic corps who are here with us. and in particular, all of the women of and from afghanistan who have joined us today. i am very honored to be the honorary co-chair of the u.s. afghan women's council along with laura bush. mrs. bush has been the real inspiration and driving force
behind the council from the very beginning. and the council represents a commitment, a public-private partnership to try to support the women of afghanistan in the transition we are undergoing. we can point to a lot of progress some of it mentioned by president pedroya. but we're well aware this is a serious turning point for all of the people of afghanistan. but in particular, for the hard fought gains that women and girls have been able to enjoy. and what we can do as americans to support the courageous women and men to build the afghanistan they imagined.
it's following up on the national action plan adopted in the first term of the obama administration pointing out the benefits to be made including women in peacemaking and peacekeeping. recognizing women's security needs, sometimes unique only to women. bringing the world particularly defense and intelligence analysts onboard with diplomats and experts and academics about what more we can do to support the security of women and to engage them in peace building. now, as you saw at the -- in the video, there was that wonderful quote by the brigadier general that men and women are like two wings on the same bird. i think i'm going to shamelessly appropriate that. it is true.
it's a vivid image in our minds. you cannot look forward if you're talking economically, politically, culturally, securitiwise, without both wings flapping. and what we have the opportunity to do through the council, through the georgetown institute, is to partner with governments around the world, particularly those that have been involved in the international coalition or in support of a lot of the development and human rights work that has gone on in afghanistan. in order to keep that hope and promise alive to women and girls in afghanistan that they will not go back, they will not be forced back in to their homes, denied education and health care, stripped of their rights to participate in the economy and the political system of their country. and in so doing, we have a great friend and ally in this effort who has been a champion of afghanistan and particularly
afghan women's rights for many years. he also happens to hold a job that i know a little something about. he is someone who has been just tireless in pursuit of peace and trying to tackle some of the toughest most difficult problems on the global agenda. and i'm delightled that he is with us here today. no stranger to afghanistan. last month went back to kabul, negotiating with president karzai over the bilateral security agreement that is absolutely core to protecting the security of afghan women and girls. john kerry's enduring commitment to afghanistan is america's enduring commitment. he understands we cannot walk away from this country or this region when our troops come home. that we cannot turn our backs on the people of afghanistan,
especially the women. if their rights and opportunities are undermined, the entire country's stability and prosperity will be undermined as well. so it is my great delight to introduce someone who sp known as "s," standing for secretary of state. and someone who i know sends a strong message just by being here but beyond the words that you will hear of his understanding and commitment, there's a real passion. we have an advocate for the women and girls in afghanistan in secretary john kerry. [ applause ]
i think everybody knows that nobody has done more for the cause of women and the cause of african women together with laura bush and our foreign policy directly than secretary clinton. she took the helm of the state department at a particularly challenging time, a critical moment in the history of the war, and she has worked tirelessly to remind all of us that this fight is not just waged on the battlefield. it's a fight for the lives of afghanistan's people and their future. it is a fight above all for universal values and aspirations and i think we all owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude for the work she has done.
thank you, hillary. we appreciate it. i want to thank georgetown's institute for women, peace, and security. i want to thank the afghan women's council, the george w. bush institute, and the alliance and the support of the afghan people for co-hosting and coming together to bring this remarkable event together today. i particularly want to thank all of you. you are a remarkable group of women. i'm pleased to meet a couple of you in afghanistan. thank you for coming here. i know people will enjoy hearing the program later. i want to express my gratitude also to former first lady hillary bush as hillary did in her comments and her introduction. she helped to lead the effort to advance opportunities for women in afghanistan. if you haven't seen it yet
today, she has a terrific op-ed in today's "washington post." and madam first lady, we thank you very much for your leadership also. as hillary did, i want to pay particular tribute and thanks to our first ambassador at large for global women's issues and her successor, kathy russell, who has just returned from afghanistan. this is very special for me to be able to be here today, particularly with the extraordinary women who have lived their lives every single day, to make sure that all women can pursue their potential and live free of violence. we all know that creating opportunities for women is not just the right thing to do. it's also a strategic necessity.
societies where women are safe, where women are empowered to exercise their rights and to move their communities forward, these societies are more prosperous and more stable -- not occasionally, but always. and nowhere is the pursuit of this vision more important and in many ways more compelling and immediate and possible than in afghanistan. if i had to walk blind into the district in afghanistan, i could only ask one question to determine how secure it was and how much progress it was making, i would ask, what proportion of the girls here are able to go to school? there's no question in my mind that investing in afghan women is the surest way to guarantee that afghanistan will sustain the gains of the last decade and
never again become a safe haven for international terrorists. on my many triples to afghanistan as a senator and as secretary of state, i met with an array of afghanistan government officials. i met business people, development experts, diplomats. i met with our brave troops as well as our brave shared responsibility participation by the international community, the international troops over there, our counterparts. all of whom have sacrificed for the safe and secure and sovereign afghanistan. but i actually come back time and again with my very first trip to kabul as secretary of state. but i met a remarkable woman who is changing afghanistan.
her name is roya. she's chief executive of a software development firm called citadel. and the local authorities did absolutely everything they could in order to stop her dead in her tracks. they even pressured her family to close her company. but she, like a lot of the women silting here, and like so many women across afghanistan, absolutely refused to be intimidated. and the first time that she competed for a -- for an afghan government project, guess what, she went up against six businesses, led by men, and she won. and it's a good thing she won, because roya has invested almost all of her profits to provide internet access to 35,000 girls. and believe me, she's just getting started. today she has plans to help five times as many girls across afghanistan. now both -- i'm sure you'll hear
in the discussion in a little while, it is hard enough to start your own business anywhere else in the world. to start it in afghanistan, balance the books, build a revenue stream, fight against incredible outrage in the local community is sheer guts and courage and determination. she never backed down. instead, she's using her talents and her money in order to connect afghans of all age, men, women, boys, girls, to a global community, a global economy where all of us are connected to each other. that's the world we live in today. that's the world that women in afghanistan want to share into. as roya said to me, she doesn't want to be the only woman who's an entrepreneur in afghanistan. she wants all women to have that opportunity. and she believes nothing should stop any of them. i'm serious when i tell you that i think of roya and the women like her that i met in
afghanistan. every time i hear the amazing numbers that illustrate how far this country has come since 2001 and that underscore what secretary clinton was saying a few minutes ago about how critical our choices are with respect to the future. in 2001 by then, there were only 900,000 afghan children in school. and all of them were boys. today, nearly 8 million students were in school and more than a third of them are girls. think about what that means for the future. in 2001, maternal mortality was 1600 per 100,000 births. today, it's down by 80%. in 2001, life expectancy for the average afghan was 42 years. today, it's 62 years. and rising.
in 2001, 9% of afghans had access to basic health care. today, 60% of afghans live within an hour of basic health services. in 2001, there was only one television station and it was owned by the government. today there are 75 stations. and only two -- and all of those but two are privately owned. and in 2001, there were virtually no cell phones in the country. today, there are 18 million covering about 90% of residential areas. 80% of afghan women. now have access to a cell phone meaning they are connected to their families, their friends, and most importantly, they're connected to the world and the future. thanks to entrepreneurs like
roya, afghan women will now also be connected to the internet too. ten years ago, it just would have been unfathomable to imagine this. but because so many individual acts of courage this is the future we are now watching afghan women build. secretary clinton, laura bush, ambassadors rivera and russell powerfully remind us, when afghan women live longer and go to school in greater numbers, all afghan families and their communities will grow stronger. all afghans profit from more diverse, dynamic, and inclusive economy. and when afghan women hold public office at the local and national levels, all afghans being a stronger voice in their communities. that is the vision behind the united states national action plan on women, peace, and security which president obama
directed to be implemented two years ago and hillary spoke about just a few minutes ago. and that's why we are committed to bringing the perspectives of women and their full participation to bear on these opportunities and challenges in afghanistan going forward. now, what has moved me, and i mean moved me, in my meeting with afghan women entrepreneurs, when women move forward, believe me, they don't want to go back. not to the days before the talib taliban. it's important that we keep investing in and defending the progress that empowers afghan women and men to be able to have their voices heard and to buy
into their future and shape their future. what has been achieved is nothing less than remarkable. it would have been more than a tragedy if the world allowed this progress to be aban conned. now the question is where to we go from here? we think about the future, we're mindful of the challenges that afghan women continue to face. this is a critical moment. many of my women share very legitimate concerns that the games of the past decade could be lost. all that i talked about could be wiped out. and the truth is, their anxiety that i hear when i visit afghanistan, or you'll hear today, is palpable. despite the significant achievements of afghan women and girls, many challenges still remain.
we remember too well, the difficulties, the difficult history that led to the decades of war in afghanistan. we know the costs of walking away. believe me, afghan women know the cost, because they have always paid the steepest price. so i say to you today, as afghanistan sees women standing up in afghanistan to take control of their country's future, not only for themselves, but for all afghans, we have to be determined that they will not stand alone. america america will stand up and shape a strong and united afghanistan and secured the rightful place in the community of nations. that is why president obama and president karzai signed a strategic partnership agreement last year that lays out our mutual commitments and that's
why america's relationship with afghans is changing. it's not ending. there's a lot to do, so much to do. obviously the road ahead is not easy. the violence that is plagued afghanistan for decades has left very deep wounds. and it is going to take time to heal. we also know that security is going to be a real challenge. we know that afghans have to strengthen the rule of law. they have to improve access to justice. we also know that discrimination and violence against people continue to be major problems. but, i know every one of these women and the women in afghanistan today will remain determined. and we have an obligation to remain determined and stand by them. we intend to make clear that
securing the rights of afghanistan women and girls is not just a challenge for this moment, it's a generational challenge. in fact, we've made a significant downpayment. but make no mistake, finishing this job is going to take courage and not just the courage of women in afghanistan. as a proud father of two daughters, i have many times been reinforced in the fact that this job will require the courage of men too. in afghanistan, it will take the courage of every man who defends his daughter's right to an equal education. it will take the courage of every brother who challenges the law to keep his sister from owning property or the business. every husband who not only promises the cycle of domestic violence can stop with him, but who actually proves it. we have spent a great blood and treasure in afghanistan. and that makes even greater our
obligation to get this right. yes, there are challenges ahead. for sure, the transition is going to be difficult. but without question, there's a world of possibilities staring us in the face. in fact, the transition that we're talking about and now working on is really about three transitions. a political transition, a security transition, and an economic transition. no surprise afghan women are playing an incident gral role in all of them. look at the political transition. we all know that the single most important milestone in the next year is the peaceful transfer of power from president karzai to the democratically elected successor. the elections have to be on time. they have to be accountable and transparent and free and fair and accessible. they have to be inclusive and result in an outcome that is perceived as legitimate by all segments of afghanistan society
above all, but also by the international community. above all, though elections obviously always entail competition and debate, they've got to be a unifying moment for the country. not a divisive one. as we speak. as we are here, afghan women are leading the charge to ensure that the elections next year are credible and conclusive and transparent. gulelei, one of the women who's a teacher by profession. she had a passion for public service. she worked as a human rights commission in kandahar. she's serving on the election commission. she told president karzai she had only one character flaw. she fears no one. now, we are deeply encouraged by hers and others who are taking a part of this, hundreds of women all over the country, who are
running for positions on councils. we're pleased to lend our support in partnership with the united nations to train female volunteers as they facilitate, secure access for women at the polls. there's no question that lasting prosperity in afghanistan will take root only when women have as loud a voice as men, not only on election day, but every day. it's essential, it's the prerequisite to the future stability of afghanistan. but make no mistake, it's not enough. it's not sufficient, and won't do the job alone. that's why the united states firmly supports and will continue to support an afghan-led peace and reconciliation effort as the surest way to end the violence